Hopes and Reflections from our Secretary – January 2015

I must start my notes by offering congratulations and wishes for much happiness to our President (Author of our Society Journals) Graham Roberts who “tied the knot”with Daphne Swale in late December. May they have a future of many contented years together.

For ‘the Bay’ 2014 held many “ups”and “downs” :-

Eirias Park has been a major “up” during 2014. It is proving to be a huge commercial asset to our town. There are so many attractions/ activities to be found there. They are boosting our income and increasing the reasons for the general public and commercial enterprises throughout the UK to call on Colwyn Bay.

The stadium and football/rugby pitch bring interesting events to the open space , being good enough and big enough to also hold spectacular events. Pop artists like Olly Mur and Sir Tom Jones and next Elton John are artists who appear there. (I hope the weather befits the quality of the star this year.)

Within the park area are also the Leisure centre/Swimming pool complex, tennis courts a skate boarding area, a lake for model boat enthusiasts and a full-size boating lake. The latter is sadly neglected but I understand is earmarked to be fully restored to the standard it enjoyed in days gone by.

Another major”up” in 2014 has been the completion of the promenade and sea front between Porth Eirias and the pier. Our beautiful new sand beach is a great pleasure for locals and visitors alike. Also at Porth Eirias it is good to see the sailing school offering teaching in so many different water crafts and the new ramps for those who bring their own vessels – water-skies,dinghies ,jet-skies etc.   I am delighted also to see the creation of a Zebra-crossing between the lower exit of Eirias Park and the entrance to Porth Eirias. I hope the Highways department will recognise the need for another Zebra-crossing – this time between the Tunnel/Bridge and the pier. This summer, with the new paving laid from the railway station , to under the bridge to the entrance to the pier, children will be skateboarding or on bikes or scooters and could, almost out of control, ride on to the promenade road – an accident waiting to happen. If it was thought necessary for a Zebra at Porth Eirias – so too is there need for one at the pier. Also, I hope in 2015 the Tunnel will have it’s sides and ceiling enhanced.

Whilst the road works were being completed between Porth Eirias and the pier, for safety reasons, a 20mph speed limit was applied. Will the Highways Department please consider, for safety reasons, applying a 20mph limit on the entire length of the ‘prom’ from Old Colwyn to St Trillo’s Chapel ? In the summer the areas round all the kiosks, and the stretch of road from the Cayley Pub to Rhos Point is a high-risk area where children, pets and the elderly and infirm are concerned. Along this stretch I would also consider some hefty speed humps to force traffic to slow down. I would suggest there should be no parking between Fortes Cafe and the Rhos Fynach buildings.

I am concerned for those who run the very popular remaining kiosks along our sea front. I understand the kiosks have an uncertain future. I would be most grateful to read in the local press what lies ahead for these popular and essential enterprises, and that those running them can be confident their businesses are not in jeopardy.

One of the major ‘downs’ for 2014 remains, not surprisingly, the Pier. There are still, as I write, three approaches to the pier’s future. One, Mr Hunt still persists in using the High Courts to claim the pier is his. Two, the County councillors have voted to have the structure demolished and ,Three , the optimists, Colwyn Victoria Pier Trust is hoping that by April of this year £millions from the Heritage Lottery Funds will be available. I pray that 2015 will bring a final and trustworthy decision between either ‘Two’ or ‘Three’ of the above.

A large helping of frustration ! –

I am sure there are many citizens in our area who are as frustrated as our MP David Jones over the time it is taking to get the catering facilities in Porth Eirias up and running. In the ‘Weekly News’ of 23rd October we were asked by Sasha Davies, Conwy Council’s Strategic Director for the Economy and Place to have patience – what was planned by chef Bryn Williams and Shel Restaurant Ltd would be well worth waiting for. Our hopes were expected to be raised in the ‘Weekly News’ of 18th December 2014 by the announcement that £100,000 had been awarded to Shel Restaurant Ltd. By the Tourist Investment Support Scheme to provide whatever catering equipment is needed to get the whole idea up and running. April 2015 is the target for opening whatever they have in mind.   It’s ‘what they have in mind’ that I am agog to find out. Is it something of a ‘haute cuisine ‘ nature that we can expect ? Or a ‘cheap and cheerful’ cafe to compete with any remaining kiosks along the sea front ?

If I was involved in this project I would need to think long and hard to determine what type of catering would bring in the biggest returns. I would certainly not be happy with that curious central “reception area” bang in the middle of the place. – It is a booking office for the sailing concern. It is a telephone centre. It is an enquiry desk. It is somewhere for ‘staff’ to have a coffee and eat sandwiches – and, frankly, it would be in my way. Would I be selling buckets and spades along with snacks during the day and quality cuisine at night ? By the summer of 2015 I hope that I am impressed by what the £100,000 funding has produced.

I hope also that 2015 will see completion of the huge block of quality apartments being built by Rhos Point. Also , see the demolition of the Rothsay Hotel and erection of more quality flats with pent-houses, and hope the buildings at the old Aberhod Reastaurant site will come to fruition.

Finally, above all, I hope for a summer of wonderful weather so that all that is planned for our pleasant town can have spectacular and rewarding results.

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